Apa Format Citation In Text From Internet Sources Bibliography

On By In 1

There are two options for citing this source in-text:

1) A shortened version of the title (2 - 3 words) or the full title if it is short, date of publication, and heading of a section in the article/text and/or paragraph number placed in brackets at the end of the sentence. Write the title in mixed case and in quotations marks. All of these examples are correct:

("Understanding Information," n.d., para. 2).

("Understanding Information," n.d., "Introduction").

("Understanding Information," n.d., "Introduction," para. 2).

2) Alternatively, the citation may be integrated into the sentence with a signal phrase and narrative. If lengthy, abbreviate the organization or group name:

According to the website Infogineering, “single-tasking, and keeping the mind focused on one issue at a time” is a potential solution for reducing “information overload” (“Understanding Information,” n.d., "Solutions"). 

APA rules for in-text citation change depending on the number/type of author(s). Count the authors and follow the rule below:

Work with ONE author
Cite the last name of the author in every in-text citation:
> The study demonstrated how "APA style can be challenging for college students" (Bedford, 2010, p. 8).
> Smith (2009) discovered that APA style is a challenging citation format for first-time learners (p. 199).
> According to Smith, APA style is a challenging citation format for first-time learners (2009, p. 199).
Work with TWO authors
Combine both names, with "&" in brackets or "and" in the signal phrase:
> Research conducted by Bedford and Smith (2008) suggests college students struggle when using APA style. This difficulty can be attributed to the fact that many students did not purchase a style manual or failed to ask their teacher or librarian for help (p. 199).
> Research has suggested that college students struggle when using APA style because they do not acquire the necessary resources or seek additional support on-campus (Bedford & Smith, 2008, p. 199).
Work with THREE to FIVE authors
List all last names in signal phrase or brackets for the first in-text citation. If you cite the source again, use the first author's last name with "et al."
> Contrary to popular belief, the evidence showed that Leif Eriksson was "the first European to set foot on North American soil, almost 500 years before Columbus" (Wilson, Kravitz, Thomson, & Petty, 2011, pp. 94-98).
> Wilson et al. (2011) concluded that Leif Eriksson was "the first European to set foot on North American soil, almost 500 years before Columbus" (pp. 94-98).
Work with SIX or more authors
For all in-text citations, use the first author's name followed by et al. in the signal phrase or in brackets:
> In a randomized control trial conducted on diabetic patients, Shaughnessy et al. (2007) found the medication to be effective in 72% of patients (p. 109).
> Multiple studies have demonstrated that traumatic experiences in early childhood can increase the risk of addiction (Okoye et al., 2016, p. 84).
Cite the full name of the group or organization. If it is lengthy, cite full name in the first citation and use an abbreviation for following citations:
> The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) concluded there is no causal link between vaccinations and the increase in clinical diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders. Moreover, the CMA warned that such assumptions may lead to the return of childhood illnesses like the measles (2010, pp. 18-21).
> According to Statistics Canada, "[s]ince the early 1990s, Canada has welcomed an average of almost 250,000 immigrants annually" (2016, para. 2).
Work with NO author specified
First, check if there is a group or organization responsible for the content. If you cannot locate one, cite the entire or a shortened version of the title of the work:
> Google was involved in anti-competitive practices ("Patent Trials," 2010, para. 3).
> It was reported that Calgary's office vacancy rate in the downtown core is almost 25% ("Calgary Downtown Vacancy," 2016, para. 1).
Cite IN-TEXT ONLY, no reference list entry is needed. Cite in-text as a personal communication; include initials and last name of the person(s) and the full date. A reference list entry is only needed if you read or listened to the interview/presentation in a print or electronically published source.
> A registered nurse explained how "elderly patients with dementia may wander off the premises of nursing homes" (J. McGill, personal communication, October 12, 2015).
> Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic honesty policies at Bow Valley College (L. Peters, personal communication, September 12, 2016).
SECONDARY SOURCE (A source found inside a source)
If you want to use a source quoted, paraphrased, or summarized in a source, cite or refer to original source(s) IN-TEXT ONLY and cite the actual source you are using both in-text and in the reference list.

There are 3 options: (1) Place original author(s) and year in the signal phrase or brackets and use the phrase “as cited in.” before the actual source; (2) Include in-text citation(s) to the original source(s) in a quote; or (3) Use a phrase such as “According to a research study” or “The research has demonstrated” to refer to the original source(s):

Example 1:

Smith (the secondary source) refers to the ideas of Johnson (the original source):

> Option 1 - Johnson (2008) argued that the Calgary stampede is rooted in conservative political ideologies (as cited in Smith, 2013, pp. 102-103).

In the References list at the end of your assignment, only cite the source by Smith.

Example 2:

Holden et al. (the secondary source) cite multiple research studies (the original sources):

> Option 2 - An increasing amount of critical analysis and evidence have undermined "the notion that digital natives have a unique aptitude for digital technologies (Hargittai & Feldman, 2010; Jones & Czerniewicz, 2010; Hope, 2011)” (Holden et al., 2012, p. 18). 


> Option 3 - Multiple research studies have undermined "the notion that digital natives have a unique aptitude for digital technologies" (Holden et al., 2012, p. 18).

In the References list at the end of your assignment, only cite the source by Holden et al. 

by Chelsea Lee

Perhaps the most common question we get about APA Style is “How do I cite a website?” or “How do I cite something I found on a website?”

First, to cite a website in general, but not a specific document on that website, see this FAQ.

Once you’re at the level of citing a particular page or document, the key to writing the reference list entry is to determine what kind of content the page has. The Publication Manual reference examples in Chapter 7 are sorted by the type of content (e.g., journal article, e-book, newspaper story, blog post), not by the location of that content in a library or on the Internet. The Manual shows both print- and web-based references for the different types of content.

What seems to flummox our readers is what to do when the content doesn’t fall into an easily defined area. Sometimes the most you can say is that you're looking at information on a page—some kind of article, but not a journal article. To explore this idea, imagine the Internet as a fried egg. The yolk contains easier to categorize content like journal articles and e-books. In that runny, nebulous white you’ll find the harder to define content, like blog posts, lecture notes, or maps. To wit, the egg:

APA Style Template for Website References 

Content in that egg white area may seem confusing to cite, but the template for references from this area is actually very simple, with only four pieces (author, date, title, and source):

Author, A. (date). Title of document [Format description]. Retrieved from https://URL


In text: (Author, year)

That format description in brackets is used only when the format is something out of the ordinary, such as a blog post or lecture notes; otherwise, it's not necessary. Some other example format descriptions are listed on page 186 of the Publication Manual.  

It is permissible to leave hyperlinks live in reference list entries. 


Example of a Website Reference With All Information Present

Here’s an example (a blog post) in which we have all four necessary pieces of information (also see Manual example #76):


Examples of Website References With Missing Information

Sometimes, however, one or more of these four pieces is missing, such as when there is no identifiable author or no date. For each piece of missing information there is a way to adapt the APA Style reference. 

Here’s an example where no author is identified in this online news article (the title moves to the author position):

And here’s an example for a webpage where no date is identified (the letters n.d., which stand for no date, are substituted in place of a year):


Over the years we have also covered example references for tweets and Facebook updates, press releases, interviews, wikipedia articles, and artwork in other blog posts. We recommend that you search the blog for your reference type if you are still unsure of how to create the reference. 

For a complete explanation of how to create website references no matter how much information you have, read this post on "missing pieces" and download our chart here: How to Adapt APA Style References When Information Is Missing. This chart can be used for educational puposes provided that credit is given to the American Psychological Association. 

Thanks for reading! 



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